Lorin Maazel and Dietlinde Turban-Maazel have opened their Castleton, Va., estate to people attending the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama to the tune of $50,000 per night. Lest you think they are being greedy, all of the proceeds will go to their non-profit organization, Châteauville Foundation and his Castleton Festival, which he created this year. Maazel is not only a top conductor, he is clearly a crafty businessman, too. He probably would have made for an excellent CEO. I give him credit for trying to use the situation to benefit his foundation and students.
There are several houses on the estate that can accommodate around 50 people, and a heated indoor pool, a sauna, petting zoo, horseback riding and even a private concert (the Amstel Quartet, not Maazel, but who knows, maybe he will pick up the violin) and more are included in the package. Obama gives it the thumbs up.